Posted by: APO | 24 April 2015

“Merck More Than A Mother “ a new initiative in partnership with Nairobi university and university of Indonesia to address the social suffering of infertile women in Indonesia , Kenya and rest of Africa as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Program

“Merck More Than A Mother ” a new initiative in partnership with Nairobi university and university of Indonesia to address the social suffering of infertile women in Indonesia , Kenya and rest of Africa as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Program

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Merck in collaboration with University of Indonesia kicked off two important initiatives “More than A Mother” and “Fertility is a Shared Responsibility” to address the social suffering and stigmatization of infertile women as part of Merck Capacity Advancement program (CAP) in fertility management in Indonesia. Same program will be launched in Kenya in partnership with University of Nairobi.

These two initiatives will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners in Indonesia but will also address the social perception of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.

The 5-year program is accredited by European Council of Continuous Medical Education (EACCME). The classes will be taught by fertility experts from Germany, Canada and Indonesia.

As one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia is facing a heavy burden of health problems in addition to this; there is an issue in the area of infertility. This became a major concern due to the high infertility rate and the limited number of infertile couples who have access to proper health facilities as well as the cultural value of parenthood in Indonesia.

“Access to adequate comprehensive reproductive health services, including infertility care, is a basic right regardless of the economic circumstances in which individuals are born into. Therefore, Merck Fertility Capacity Advancement Program will contribute to identifying and implementing strategies to improve access to high quality biomedical fertility care in Indonesia and through the initiative of “More than a Mother” interventions to decrease social suffering from infertility and childlessness will be defined” said Rasha Kelej, Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development at Merck’s biopharmaceutical business Merck Serono.

Dr. Budi Wiweko , IVF Consultant and Research Manager of Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia emphasized “Unfortunately, only a very limited number of reproductive couples experiencing infertility have accessed proper health facilities. One of the strategies to increase health service access is to improve the referral system for infertility care and strengthen the links between general practitioners and infertility providers. Medical students as future general practitioners should therefore understand the basics of infertility management. Therefore we believe that our partnership with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program will help us to achieve this goal.”

“This program will also help the participants to understand the cultural, psychological and caring aspects related to fertility management and the model of early stage counseling of couples with fertility problems “he added.

During the scientific program at University of Indonesia, Dr. Klaus Bühler, director of Gynecology, Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine Ulm and Stuttgart center, Germany explained “Infertility affects men and women equally. Approximately one-third of cases of couple infertility is due to male factors, one-third to female factors and one-third relates to a combination of male and female factors or has no identifiable cause, today together with Merck and University of Indonesia, we launch ” Fertility is a shared Responsibility ” initiative to raise awareness about male infertility and encourage men to acknowledge and openly discuss their infertility issues and strive for a team approach to family building with their partners in order to progress toward Shared Fertility Responsibility among couples”

Dr Sylvia Elvira, Consultant, Indonesian Psychiatric College explained “Women’s reproductive success determines their social status, the roles they play in a given society, and indirectly, the control they can exercise over their own lives and their continued wellbeing, they are also overwhelmingly perceived as being the party responsible for a couple’s infertility, and subsequently the social suffering associated with infertility tends to be greater for them than their husbands. Together with Merck capacity advancement program we will challenge this perception of infertile women, their roles and worth in society, both within and beyond the medical profession in order to achieve any systemic shift in the current culture of gender discrimination in the context of fertility care”.

Merck CAP is a 5 year program aiming to expand the professional capacity in Africa and developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.

As part of the CAP, by end of 2015, more than 5,000 medical students in partnership with African universities such as University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Namibia University and University of Ghana, in addition to Asian universities such as Maharashtra university, India and University of Indonesia will benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to avert the diabetes epidemic.

“Merck is planning to target more than 15,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non –communicable diseases such as Diabetes, cancer and fertility management.

The program will also kick off initiatives on building research capacity and improving supply chain in order to improve patient safety in Africa” Kelej added..

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Humphreys Elkington.


Humphreys Elkington


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